World Rights have gone to Pen & Sword for a biography of Scottish thriller writer Alistair MacLean’s early years in the Royal Navy and its influence on his most famous works.

Alistair MacLean

Alistair MacLean’s first novel HMS Ulysses sold a quarter of a million copies in hardback in the first six months and sold millions, enabling him to become one of Scotland’s most prolific and successful writers.

Lee Child was heavily influenced by that book and commented in 2005 that ‘it had some of the best-drawn characters I had read in the genre…. Even today I can sense MacLean’s influence I learnt a valuable lesson in how to write a hero who is totally full-blooded without going over the top.’ 

With the centenary of MacLean’s birth in 2022, this book will serve as a timely reminder of the significant influence this Scottish writer had on future generations of thriller writers.

The book will be published in hardback with a Foreword by Lee Child and unpublished MacLean material.